The City of Kamloops will begin to reopen civic facilities beginning next week.
However, there is no word yet on reopening dates for recreational facilities, including the city’s gyms, which were given the green light to reopen this week.
After the province entered the second phase of its reopening plan on May 19, the city will on June 1 reopen to the public its development and engineering services department, Kamloops Fire Rescue Station No. 1 (by appointment only), the civic operations centre and the bylaw services centre. They will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Subsequently, city hall will open to the public a week later, on June 8, with the first two hours of every day (8 a.m. to 10 a.m.) reserved for seniors and vulnerable citizens.
In a video update from city hall, Mayor Ken Christian said the city is going to “purposefully and carefully” reopen some facilities that have been shuttered during the pandemic. However, he advised people to expect longer wait times and limited services due to reduced staffing levels and requirements to clean and disinfect.
He advised residents to head online for services as much as possible.
“Certainly, with tax season approaching, you do have the ability to do that through your financial institution or online,” Christian said. “We are making all of the arrangements to be compliant with WorkSafe BC, in terms of our operation and we have the health and safety of our employees here at the City of Kamloops and your health and safety as members of the public front of mind.”
Meanwhile, there is no word yet on when the city will open its gym facilities, following approval from the province to reopen as of this week.
The Tournament Capital Centre gyms and Westsyde Pool and Fitness Centre remain closed to the public. Private gyms were allowed to reopen this week with protocols in place to curb spread of the novel coronavirus.
City of Kamloops CAO David Trawin told KTW the city is awaiting direction from the BC Recreation and Parks Association, which is coming out with guidelines for not only recreational facilities, but sports fields and more. A city staffer has been working with that group, Trawin said, and direction is expected soon.
“Everything we open, we have to make sure there are procedures in place,” Trawin said. “We have to make sure we protect the public. We have to come up with cleaning, situations to cover off all things.”
Trawin said the city will be work on reopening plans for recreational centres next week, once it has all of the information it needs, but the date for when Kamloops residents could once again be working out at the Tournament Capital Centre or Westsyde Fitness Centre remains unknown at this time.